How to Start a Business in USA for Noncitizens

Are you interested in starting a
business in the USA as a noncitizen? Then you are in the right place. I’m
immigration attorney Ili Subhan. Recipient of the best immigration lawyer
award and legal innovator award. In this video, you’re going to learn the ten
actionable steps that you can take to start a business in the USA as a non
citizen, so let’s get started. And, make sure to LIKE, comment, and subscribe to
this channel. We’re going to be publishing a new video every week. Ring
the bell, so you get notifications every time we release a new video. And, make
sure to watch this video through to the end because I will be sharing how to get
a bank account online. Now, let’s get started by discussing the types of
corporate entities a noncitizen can establish in the USA. First, there are two
types of corporate entities noncitizens can form in the US: a limited liability
company also known as an LLC or a corporation also known as a C Corp. Now
you may have heard of an S corporation, but this option is only available to
permanent residents also known as green card holders or U.S. citizens. Now, another
question we often receive from our clients is do I need a visa to open a U.S.
business. The answer is no. You do not need a U.S. visa to start a business in
the USA nor to purchase an existing business. However, you do need a visa to
be able to work for the business from within the U.S. You can own the business
and receive your share of the profits but you cannot work for the business
without having a visa. Let’s look at an example of how this could work for you.
Let’s say you start an ice cream shop in Sarasota, Florida, and you hire a manager
to manage the daily operations. Now, you are a passive investor in the business.
you own the business, but you do not work for the business.
This is permissible to do without a visa. However, if you wanted to be at the ice
cream shop and run the daily activities including: overseeing sales, marketing,
advertising, accounting, etc. then you would need a visa.
Think of it like this – you can invest in U.S. stock from outside the U.S. and you can
receive all the benefits from appreciation in the stock price, but as a
shareholder of that company you are not actively involved in the daily
operations. This is considered a passive investment and you would not need a U.S.
visa. So if you wanted to start a restaurant in the U.S. and you hired a
manager to manage all the operations and you were not involved – then again this
would be considered a passive investment and you would not need a visa. However, if
you do want to be involved in the daily activities of the business in some way,
then you will be required to get a U.S. visa to be able to work for the business
that you own. To learn more about the five most common visa options for
starting a business in the USA as a noncitizen, please watch my other video
in the description below. Now, let’s get into the 10 actionable steps that you
can take to start a business in the USA as a noncitizen. And, because we
recommend that most companies that are entering the U.S. start as a limited
liability company or LLC we’ll discuss the 10 actionable steps to start an LLC
in the U.S. The first step is choosing the state of incorporation, but for an LLC
this is called the state of organization. Generally, the best state to register
your LLC will be the one you will be conducting business. However, if you’re an
online company or do business across multiple states, then you may want to
consider registering in a state with a lower tax burden such as Nevada, Wyoming,
or Delaware. Delaware is particularly popular thanks to its well-respected
corporate laws that provide significant protections to business owners. The right
choice for you will depend on your particular circumstances. Okay, so now
you’ve picked the state of organization. Next, you’ll want to choose a name for
your LLC. Remember, in all 50 states and US territories and possessions, the name
needs to end with LLC or limited liability
company. Now, you’ll need to check the name you’ve chosen with your state
before registering your LLC to make sure that it is available. You should also
check with the U.S. trademark and patent office’s trademark database to make sure
that the name has not been trademarked. Next, you’ll want to select a registered
agent. A registered agent is responsible for receiving notices from the state,
notices of a lawsuit, and other legal documents. A registered agent can be an
individual, trust, or another company. We can help you select the company to serve
as your registered agent. After you’ve selected a registered agent, you’ll want
to decide on how your LLC will be managed. There are two types of LLC’s –
member-managed and manager-managed. In member-managed LLC’s, a single member, in
a single member LLC, or all the members, in a multiple member LLC, will have an
active role in the operation of the business. A manager-managed LLC is formed
where a single member, in a single member LLC, or members, in a multiple member LLC,
only want a passive role in the business and the single member or multiple
members depending on the type of LLC do not want to be part of the daily
operations of the business. In this situation the member or members elect a
manager or managers to run the everyday operations. Okay, so now you have chosen
the state of organization, a name for your LLC, selected a registered agent ,and
decided on your LLC’s management structure. Now it’s time to file the
articles of organization with the state or U.S. territory that you have chosen to
register your LLC. Generally, you’ll be able to file the articles of
organization online with the state. Contact us, if you need help establishing
a U.S. entity that will be in compliance with U.S. immigration law. The
next step is to draft an operating agreement that will be in compliance
with U.S.immigration law. The operating agreement defines how the
LLC will be run on a day-to-day basis including: the management structure,
allocation of distributions, LLC accounting, immigration compliance, voting
rights, disassociation or dissolution of the business ,and much more. Now that you
have the LLC formed and an operating agreement in place, you’ll need to obtain
a federal employment identification number also known as an EIN. An LLC’s
EIN is used for reporting taxes, opening a bank account, and hiring employees. You
will fill out IRS form SS-4 and you should use a third-party designee such
as our firm to help you complete this process. In addition, if you are a single
member LLC, after receiving your EIN, you’ll also need to file IRS Form 5472
and form 1120. This is very importan. If form 5472 is not filed or
filed incorrectly, the IRS charges a minimum penalty of $25,000. If you have a
multiple member LLC that is taxed as a corporation and has at least one foreign
owner that owns 25% or more, you must file Form 5472 and form 1120. On
the other hand and very common, if you have a foreign-owned
multiple member LLC that is taxed as a partnership, you are not required to file
form 5472 and form 1120. We’d recommend discussing this more with a
tax adviser or certified public accountant. Now that you have your LLC’s EIN,
you are ready to open the LLC’s bank accounts. Non U.S. residents can open an
LLC bank account online with Mercury. See the link in the description below. To
open an account with Mercury, you’ll need your LLC approval documents, copy of your
passport, your contact information, the LLC’s address, which can be the address
of your registered agent, the LLC’s proof of an EIN, and submission
of Mercury’s online application. Please note that Mercury is a best fit for
online businesses and not cash intensive businesses. If you will be handling a lot
of cash deposits, then mercury would not be a good fit. However, if you will be
accepting all credit card transactions online, then Mercury would be a great fit.
You may also appoint a person who is living in the U.S. to act as a manager
of your manager-managed LLC and give that person authority to open your LLC’s
bank account. However, this is a risky proposition because that person will
have access to the account. Another option is to open a business bank
account using Also, you may visit a multinational bank near you. For
example, Banco Santander, Royal Bank of Canada, Barclays, HSBC, etc. and ask if they
can help you open an account for your US-based LLC. The other alternative to
opening your LLC’s bank account in the U.S. is traveling to the U.S. and opening
the account in-person. If you are from one of the countries that allows for you
to travel to the U.S. on your passport or ESTA, also known as the visa waiver
program, then you can establish your bank account that way. Otherwise, if you need
to apply for a visa, check out my other video on the five most common visa
options to immigrate to the U.S. for entrepreneurs in the description below.
Also, all banks have different policies concerning opening business accounts, so
the best thing to do is to call the bank ahead of time and ask to speak with the
branch manager. Tell them that you have a U.s. LLC and that you are a non-U.S.
resident and that you do not have an SSN or ITIN,
but you have an EIN for your limited liability company. Ask them for all the
documentation they require to open an account and take detailed notes. Also, ask
if they can send you this information via email or if it is listed anywhere
online. Then ask the branch manager if you can email them
your documents for review before coming into the bank. If everything looks good,
ask the branch manager if you can make an appointment to meet with them to open
the account. We’d recommend planning to stay in the U.S. for at least 1 to 2 weeks
just in case there are any delays or extra things you need to get to open
your account. Additional things to do may be applying for a business license,
permit, or other document, while in the U.S. Once you have opened your bank
account, you’re ready to start doing business. After setting up your LLC bank
account, you should speak with a tax advisor or certified public accountant
to oversee your bookkeeping and taxes. To get your LLC set up the right way, you
should also get an attorney to help you. As we discussed, if you plan on working
for the business and living in the U.S., you will need to apply for a U.S. visa.
We’re here to help you get your visa and start your business in the U.S. I hope you
found this information helpful. If so please click the LIKE button and leave a
comment below. And, make sure to SUBSCRIBE to this channel to get access to more
helpful immigration tips and solutions. Ring the bell, so you get notified every
time we release a new video. And if you know that you’re ready to get started
and take the next step to financial freedom and start your business in the
USA, then click the link below now to join me in my on-demand course, where I
will teach you in more detail the step-by-step process on how to start
your business in the USA. Click the link below now and I look forward to seeing
you in the course.

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